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July 21, 2009- Palikir, Pohnpei

News & Information
First Reported case of Pandemic Influenza A/H1N1 in the Federated States of Micronesia

Press Release #0709-43
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
July 21, 2009

On July 20, 2009, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) National Department of Health and Social Affairs was notified of the country's first laboratory confirmed human case of Pandemic Influenza A/H1N1.

The confirmed case is a 27-year-old male from the main island of Weno in the state of Chuuk, FSM. The patient developed a headache, fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose on 2 July, and was seen at Chuuk State Hospital on 3 July, where he tested negative on a local rapid test. Samples were forwarded to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza in Melbourne, Australia, where testing confirmed Pandemic H1N1 on 17 July. The patient reported no travel history and no contact with sick animals. He had recently been vaccinated for seasonal influenza.

The patient was advised home quarantine. He was not given antivirals and he recovered without complication. His contacts are in the process of being evaluated.

The Chuuk State Department of Health and Services, with assistance of the FSM National Department of Health and Social Affairs, is continuing its ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of influenza in the community. These efforts include providing health alerts to travelers at points of entry, carrying out respiratory triage at healthcare centers to avoid spread of respiratory illness to these facilities, isolating patients at home or in the hospital and providing recommended care, following up of contacts, and providing education to the community.

The confirmation of pandemic influenza in the FSM does not change the mitigation measures that have already been in place, but serves as a reminder of the importance of carrying out these activities with renewed vigor.

The public is reminded of the importance of good hygiene and respiratory etiquette, avoiding close contact with ill individuals, staying home from work or school when they are sick, and seeking appropriate medical care if experiencing respiratory symptoms.